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Apple's iTunes edges out music stores

Bigger than Tower Records

Apple's popular iTunes online music store edged out three traditional music retailers between July and September to become the seventh-largest US music retailer - and it's likely to displace more stores by the end of the year, according to the NPD Group, a market research company.

The iTunes Music Store beat Tower Records, Sam Goody and Borders in NPD's third-quarter ranking to crack the top ten for the first time ever, said the NPD Group in a report on Monday. The steep climb of the online music service to seventh place from 14th the same time last year reflects the speed at which users are turning to music online.

"With the growing interest in digital music, forecasts of more iPod demand this Christmas, and the stocking-filler appeal of iTunes gift cards, we can expect Apple to increase its share even more by the end of the year," said Russ Crupnick, music and movies industry analyst at the NPD Group.

Wal-Mart retained its first-place ranking, followed in order by Best Buy, Target and Amazon.com, all of which held onto their previous spots, according to NPD. For Your Entertainment leaped to fifth place from tenth, and Circuit City Stores dropped one spot to sixth.


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